Morning Gatha

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  • Seiryu
    • Sep 2010
    • 620

    Morning Gatha

    I started looking at ways to practice the Dharma from the moment I wake up. I usually sit Zazen in the morning, but I realized that it was becoming mechanical; I was just following another routine what giving it much thought. So I went looking for some Gathas to recite in the morning so that I can remind myself, and become aware of the reasons why I sit in the first place.

    I found two Gathas that I would like to share. And I wrote a little crappy one myself. The first one I found online, but do not know where it came from. And the second one comes from H.H the Dalai Lama’s book “becoming enlightened” (Which, by the way, I have already read, and I am not yet enlightened, maybe I can sue for false adverting. :wink: ) And the last one you can ignore

    Morning Gatha
    With every breath I take today,
    I vow to be awake;

    And every step I take,
    I vow to take with a grateful heart—

    So I may see with eyes of love
    Into the hearts of all I meet,

    To ease their burden when I can
    And touch them with a smile of peace.

    Dalai Lama Gatha!

    “I am spending my life as a full fledge follower of Buddha. May I remove the three poisons of lust, hatred and ignorance! Destructive emotions, of course, will arise, but I will not voluntarily rush into them. Today I will do whatever I can to read texts, reflect on their meaning, and work on developing wisdom. I will do whatever I can to generate the altruistic intention to become enlightened and implement compassion into my behavior. May whatever obstructs the generation of these practices be pacified!”

    My crappy Gatha

    “I open my eyes and rejoice at the realization that today was not guaranteed to me.
    Realizing that my last breath can come at any moment, I will strive to awaken for the benefit of all. Today I will not allow myself to be controlled by my destructive emotions, but I will control them. And in acting in accordance with the nature of all things, I will not act out in anger, but I will only act out in love.”

    Anyway I hope someone will enjoy.
    I was planning to write this post filled with Zen speak and riddle like expression, but since I lost all my Zen talk in a bet I had with Mara, I had to write it normally.

    *Deep Bows* And may everyone’s practice go well.

    清竜 Seiryu
  • Taigu
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest
    • Aug 2008
    • 2710

    Re: Morning Gatha

    Thank you Seiryu, very good ones

    Mine is rather like...


    sound of a toothbrush




    • Hisoka
      • May 2011
      • 22

      Re: Morning Gatha

      Ha, you can't sue the Dalai Lama - his book is called "Becoming Enlightened" and the clue is in the "ing" which makes it an action verb (I think - bit rusty on the grammar) which means it's an ongoing process!

      For a short time I was involved with a Chan group and this was a morning gatha they used and I've kept it as I like it so much, especially line 3

      Aspirational Prayer For Daily Use

      May I awake to clarity and throughout this livelong day sustain mindful awareness.

      Let me observe my karmic reactivity so that I may insert reflection before I speak or act.

      May I restrain my natural pomposity, prejudice and pride, so that I may return to openness, empathy and joy.

      May my words and actions reflect consideration and understanding for the stupidities and waywardness of others.

      Let all beings be as my mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters or children and so let me so care for them.

      Let me perceive the Dharma in the life of my teacher, setting aside his/her mundane characteristics.

      Let me pay attention to my teacher's words even if I disagree with them.

      May I train my thinking so that my thought corrects itself before any harm is done.

      Choosing one path with which I feel affinity let me pursue it with diligence; without self-centred picking and choosing.

      Let me put all beings before me on the path to enlightenment. Setting aside my own ambition may I sincerely help others on the road.

      Leaving aside my wish for the future, let me realise that life is only now.

      Homage to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, throughout my remaining life may I tread the Buddha's Way.

      Chuan deng Jing di 2001
      “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” ~Henry David Thoreau


      • Jundo
        Treeleaf Founder and Priest
        • Apr 2006
        • 39477

        Re: Morning Gatha

        Oh, I love Taigu's Toothbrush Gatha:


        We had a lovely thread awhile back for folks creating various Gatha for their day ...


        Gatha can be one facet of a 'Daily Liturgy' if helpful to you ...


        Gassho, J


        • Myoku
          • Jul 2010
          • 1487

          Re: Morning Gatha

          Originally posted by Taigu
          Mine is rather like...

          This one is for "advanced practitioners", who dont need word to remind them ;-)

          Love the first one, Morning Gatha, Seiryu,

          I'm not sure if adding a Gatha will not just exchange your Zazen with something else (or precede it),
          which is also possible to become mechanical. I also feel, having a routine is not a bad thing, and
          if its getting mechanical - I think - its something that needs my attention (awareness).



          • KellyRok
            • Jul 2008
            • 1374

            Re: Morning Gatha

            Hello all,

            Seiryu - Thank you for sharing these! I really like the first one, too. And I do agree with Peter, anything can become mechanical or 'just routine' if we allow it.

            I think your Gatha is wonderful. If you feel it becomes too routine, change it as your day does. I guess the key is to be mindful...

            bows to you - take care,


            • Kaishin
              • Dec 2010
              • 2322

              Re: Morning Gatha

              Originally posted by Seiryu
              I was just following another routine what giving it much thought.
              Sounds like you are doing it well!

              But seriously, giving it too much thought is dangerous too. So maybe special-but-not-so-special
              Kaishin (開心, Open Heart)
              Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.


              • Taigu
                Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest
                • Aug 2008
                • 2710

                Re: Morning Gatha

                Yes, in a way...I would not say that it is dangerous, reciting a gatha is like looking at a map. What matters is the actual action of moving on the territory. The best gatha for me is the open space of shikantaza out of which we can all leap and return. But that's just me. I think gatha recitation works really well for some people.